In an effort to fight off fraudulent or misleading online ads, Google will require that all advertisers across its sprawling network prove who they are and where they operate, the company said in a blog post on Thursday.
The names of the companies or people behind ads, as well as their countries of origin, will begin appearing on Google ads this summer, starting with several thousand advertisers a month in the US before expanding worldwide.
The measure, which could take years to implement, is designed as a defence against businesses and individuals who misrepresent themselves in paid online promotions, Google said.
The move comes as Google tries to tamp down misinformation and scams related to the coronavirus pandemic. It expands a 2018 verification policy focused on political advertisers serving election ads.
Broadening the policy will “help support the health of the digital advertising ecosystem by detecting bad actors and limiting their attempts to misrepresent themselves,” wrote John Canfield, who handles ad integrity for Google, in the blog post.